Principles and Practice: the Orphan Family
This book was written in the earliest part of the nineteenth century, and its author was only in her twenties when she wrote it. Basically the story illustrates how at that time an ordinary decent family, perhaps with its finances already a bit stretched with the effort of educating several children, would be completely ruined if the wage-earner were to die. If there was any income at all it might be reckoned in tens of pounds a year, and the greatest economy would have to be exercised to make this go round. Anyone in the family group who was able to earn a little did their best to do so. For instance one of the girls might be able to draw attractively, and could sell some of her pictures; another might be able to create nice useful items; another might be able to teach the younger children, thus avoiding the expense of sending them to school. It was lucky if there was a wealthy friend or relative who was prepared to pay for the education of one of the boys, to the stage where he could in turn become a wage-earner.
Miss Martineau followed this book up with several more on such politico-economic themes, and indeed made her name in this way by the time she was thirty.
As so often with Miss Martineau there is a large cast: family members, friends, relations; and unless you spend some time listing them you may well not get the full impact of this book.
Harriet Martineau. English writer, sister of James Martineau, born in Norwich, the daughter of a textile manufacturer of Huguenot descent. In 1821 she wrote her first article for the (unitarian) Monthly Repository; and then produced Devotional Exercises for the Use of Young Persons (1826), and short stories about machinery and wages. Her next book was Addresses for the Use of Families (1826). In 1829 the failure of the house in which she, her mother, and her sisters had placed their money, obliged her to earn her living. In 1832 she became a successful author through writing tales based on economic or legal ideas, in Illustrations of Political Economy, followed by Poor Laws and Paupers Illustrated (1833-34), and settled in London. After a visit to the U.S.A. (1834-36) she published Society in America, and a novel Deerbrook in 1839, and a second novel The Hour and the Man about Toussaint l'Ouverture. From 1839 to 1844 she was an invalid at Tynemouth, but recovered through mesmerism, (her subsequent belief in which alienated many friends), and made her home at Ambleside in 1845, the year of Forest and Game-law Tales. After visiting Egypt and Palestine she issued Eastern Life (1848). In 1851, in conjunction with H G Atkinson she published Letters on the Laws of Man's Social Nature which was so agnostic that it gave much offence; and in 1853 she translated and condensed Comte's Philosophie Positive. She also wrote much for the daily and weekly press and the larger reviews.
Taken with acknowledgement from the 1990 Chamber's Biographical Dictionary.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
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